Page 420 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

While this government likes to blame the pandemic for every one of its failings over the last two years, this is a government that has had 20 years to plan for today’s Canberra—a Canberra that is seeing eye-watering prices for houses, for purchase and for rent; that is, if you can even get one. This is a government that is leaving behind thousands and thousands of Canberrans who are seeing, before their very eyes, their dreams of owning their own house disappear.

Whilst the Chief Minister, as he is known for doing, is quick to shift the blame elsewhere, his favourite target being the federal government, the figures do not lie. If the Chief Minister wants solely to blame tax settings and interest rates and to ignore supply and demand, perhaps I will remind this chamber again: 12,417 applicants for 101 blocks in Whitlam just this month; 8,700 applicants for 71 blocks in Macnamara in February; 7,484 applicants for 115 blocks in Taylor in November last year; and 7,566 applicants for 92 blocks in Whitlam in March last year.

I have always acknowledged that there are many complex factors behind housing affordability, but there are factors that are specifically within the control of the ACT government, and the Chief Minister’s refusal to acknowledge this, his refusal to take any responsibility for thousands and thousands of Canberrans not being able to access their own home, shows just how out of touch he and this government are with our community.

The reality is that this government has had over 20 years to plan properly and sustainably for the growth of Canberra, and to ensure that we have more leafy green suburbs delivering a wide range of housing choices for all Canberrans. Instead, it is wedded to an infill agenda that is not serving the community’s needs and wants.

Canberra, the bush capital, Australia’s capital, as a sustainable and climate-friendly city, does not have to be the badly developed concrete jungle being created before our very eyes under Labor and the Greens. It should be a city where locals can choose to live in a house with a backyard if that is what they prefer. It should be a city where multi-unit dwellings have a role as a choice for Canberrans who seek it, but they should not be the only viable option.

Canberra, the bush capital, Australia’s capital, is a city where people should have easy access to open spaces, smartly designed public transport and well-maintained road and cycle infrastructure, no matter where they live. Canberra, the bush capital, Australia’s capital, is a city where every Canberran should have access to good local schools, and health, essential and city services.

Owning your own home is a dream of many Australians, and indeed many Canberrans, but it is a dream that is slipping away for many people under this Labor-Greens government. Whilst I again acknowledge that there are many factors that play a role in housing affordability, my motion calls on this government to use the policy levers that are within its discretion, the factors that are within its sole discretion and control, to take action, to make a plan and to ease the burden of unaffordable housing for so many Canberrans.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video